The tide is turning in the debate on Brexit, with polling this weekend showing that all 259 seats with a Labour MP now support a second vote on Brexit. Analysis by YouGov of 26,000 people reveals that in every single seat held by a Labour MP, there is a majority of both Labour supporters, as well as the entire constituency, in favour of a ‘People’s Vote’.
There’s a reason for this. The case for such a vote – in particular if you are a proud Labour member like me – is overwhelmingly clear.
As Labour’s leadership has already outlined, any Brexit deal which harms workers rights, environmental protections and civil liberties is not one which any Labour MP is good conscience could vote for.
This is clearly enshrined in Labour six tests, and our Brexit policy – submitted by a record number of Constituency Labour Parties and passed with general acclaim at our annual conference. It’s something that our top team have all signed up to – from Sir Keir Starmer to Jeremy himself.
Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership has been rightly lauded as having invigorated young people across the United Kingdom. Young people in our thousands led a groundswell of activity for Labour, in particular around the 2017 General Election. As well as policy positions popular with the young, we’ve been promised far more active power and influence over the decision making within the Labour Party.
There has been a genuine concern from Labour’s leadership and MPs, that whilst the overwhelming majority of Labour members want a vote on a final deal, this was not reflected in Labour supporters and voters, in particular in areas like across the Midlands (such as Coventry) and the North East. But the polling from this weekend shows that this fear is no longer well founded.
Because the call for a ‘People’s Vote’ is not for a re-run of the 2016 referendum, but a democratic vote on the course of our exit. And it’s only right that the British people and not Theresa May or Parliament, should decide these terms.
Because, ultimately, those opposing a vote don’t want to hear the views of the British people, and it is them, who are an affront to our democracy.
Nonetheless, our country remains bitterly split in this issue. And there’s no better example of that than Warwick University – situated between Remain-voting Leamington Spa and Leave-voting Coventry.
But both areas have a lot to lose from a chaotic Brexit, particularly if we leave without a deal. From threats to the university funding that powers the area to a further decline in industry, the next few months couldn’t be more important.
And it’s for that reason that Warwick and Leamington’s MP Matt Western came out in support of a vote at the university a few months ago.
It’s now imperative that Jim Cunningham MP, whose constituency includes the university, follows suit.
For the Labour MPs, our members demand a final vote. But more than that, our voters need one.
As I wrote earlier, our country is deeply divided on Brexit. It is now clear that a People’s Vote is the only way forward to resolve this impasse and take Britain forward.
Nathan Boroda is a student at the University of Warwick, a Labour activist and a supporter of For Our Future’s Sake, a campaign group of students campaigning for a second referendum